177 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of August 31st

  1. The #1 pick would be optimal, but if they get the #2 pick they would still be in great shape. They would still have the slot flexibility to bust on a Daz Cameron, Sean Manaea type player that falls to round 2. The #2 slot will probably be worth 7.5 million, the total pool would be over 10 million and the 5% overage would be 500K. It wouldn’t be too hard to squeeze 2 million out of the pool to get a 3 million dollar guy in round 2 if they were available.

    1. The Phillies have been playing quite a bit better the second half. We’ve gone from way ahead in the sweepstakes for the #1 pick to a dogfight with four other teams. It seems inevitable that we end up with more wins than all 4 of those teams. It seems highly possible that we have more wins on the season than Oakland and Atlanta as well. I think we pick between #5 and #7. We’re just playing so much better at the moment than any of those other 6 teams.

  2. We need to get some loses or a losing streak. Winning right now doesn’t the Phillies any good most of these players wouldn’t be around when we get good . The Phillies outfield should be N Willams , Herrera , Randolph, Altherr, Dugan. There’s no Brown, Asche , Hernandez, Howard , Cooch , Ruf. Sweeney and Galvis should be the back ups . franco, Crawford, Kingery, hopkins bty Hernandez war 1.6
    Let’s win the minor league Champions

    1. Still have a chance..15 games left with the Mets/Nats/Cubs…… 9 – Braves and Marlins….and Sox-3.

      1. We can’t beat the mets plus the bull pen is going downhill. The phillies younger are starting to slow a bit . Galvis and Hernandez are to .265 could be getting tired. The bullpen has to be tired .

  3. man, there are some really awful teams out there tanking at this point- guessing the phils end up in the 3 or 4 slot out of the 6 tankers. any word on when they might shut Nola down?
    Stanton supposed to be starting a rehab and back but doubting he’s going to do much with that wrist, so dont see them holding off Miami, and probably Colorado/Cincy.

    1. It’s not totally official, but the Phillies are moving to a 6 man rotation to limit the innings of Nola and Morgan.

    2. Atlanta and Cincy are both in free fall. The Braves are 3-16 in their last 19 games, while the Reds are 2-14 in their last 16 (and 5-20 in their last 25). As someone else notes, the Reds have a tough schedule, with 19 games against the Cards, Pirates, and Cubs, plus another 7 against the Mets and Giants.

      Absolute worst case for the Phils is the 7th pick, though I think the A’s are at least a small cut above the muck of the six other teams. It’s unlikely the Phils fall out of the top (i.e., worst) five, though I hope they can hang on to a top 3 spot.

  4. Phillies MVP 2015—Odubel Herrera or Cameron Rupp, maybe with a shot, Aaron Nola if he keeps winning in September.

  5. At this point, I just want the young players to improve and let the wins fall where they may. I don’t think anybody thought that Franco was going to be this good, that Herrera was going to hit like this, and that Rupp was going to improve so much that he’s taking Chooch’s job. Nola has been as advertised and Ken Giles is making it look easy as the closer.

    In the last 3 drafts, the Phillies have turned the picks #16, 7, 10 into Crawford, Nola, and Randolph. I don’t think the Phillies could have drafted any better that that. I doubt any team could have done a better job with those picks. So whatever top 10 pick the Phillies get in 2016, I trust they’ll be able to get a really good player in a much deeper draft.

    1. It’s not just about being able to identify a good player with a top 10 draft pick. The really early draft picks have very high slot allocations and thus provide a lot of flexibility to sign a really good player that may fall out of the first round. Houston has been very successful with this in the last couple drafts.

  6. Looking at the overall standings, I think worst case, the Phillies draft #7. But with the team playing a lot better in the second half, I think the Phillies finish with the #5 pick.

    1. Cincy gas a great chance to ‘beat’ out the Phillies…26 games left with all playoff contenders. Most with the cardinals, Cubs, Pirates and also Giants, Mets and Nationals in September They have the hardest schedule left.

    1. The Phillies basically shut him down and told him he’s not pitching until he’s 100%. So it’s anybody’s guess if Harrison’s back will cooperate.

  7. What I find most exciting about the good performance of all of the young guys is that they are creating depth. I don’t see future all-stars in the group, with the exception of Nola and Franco. But the quality depth give us many options.

  8. Along with Altherr and Sweeney. these are good quality players. Just not all-stars IMO.

    But I do see a few prospects in the farm with All-Star potential.

    1. There’s no problem with this. Not every good team is fielding a team of all-stars. At this point, we need above-average players. If they can sneak their way into an all-star game, then that’s gravy.

      If you add Crawford, Nick Williams, Jake Thompson to the all-star core of Nola and Franco, that should be enough to field a contending team with the other supporting cast like Herrera and Rupp.

  9. We have a win-win here. The Phils lose enough and they get the #1 or #2 pick to beef up an already top 10 farm. They win and are left with the #4 or #5 of a deep draft, while enjoying the successful rise of a new core: Giles, Franco (DL), Rupp, and Nola, plus hopefuls Herrera, Galvis, Hernandez, Blanco, perhaps Morgan, a couple in an overworked bullpen, and the following SSS hopefuls: Altherr, Sweeney, Eickhoff.

    Looking at remaining games, they would likely split them to end up around 66-92.

    And, that Cameron Rupp is certainly the biggest surprise of the year. I now bestow upon him his official nickname for his career…………..(drum roll)………..

    Cameron ERUPPTER Rupp

    1. I’m not sure they are top 10 farm system given I don’t know how many of these guys get counted as being on the big league roster (Nola, Franco, Morgan, some of the guys from the Hamels trade,etc) rather than in the minors. Either way, much improved over past years.

      1. Just off the top of my head, I think the system is probably in the 5-10 range. Crawford is a top 5 prospect. Williams is probably 20-40. Thompson is 40-60. Alfaro, Randolph, and Kilome should be in the top 100 as well. There’s good depth behind the top 6 too. I haven’t looked closely at what other teams have, but I think that kind of system has to be at least top 10

  10. We all know Aaron Nola can be a starter on a postseason team but does anyone here think Eickhoff, Asher, or Morgan can be?

    1. I’m a big fan of Eickhoff – I can see him being a workhorse middle-of-the-rotation guy. I like his stuff, his poise and his determination. In his second start, early on he couldn’t throw strikes and was getting hit around. Most young starters would have folded at that point, Eickhoff composed himself and turned it around. That was impressive.

      Don’t have a firm feel with Asher. Morgan has been better than expected. The real question is whether, with time, he’ll get back more of his lost velocity. It’s possible as his surgery was not due to a rotator cuff or labrum repair which typically can end a career. If he gets back to touching 93 or 94 he has an intriguing upside.

    2. Yes I do. Look at our 2008 WC team, which did better in the playoffs than our later 3-aces team. Now, if Nola, Eickhoff, Morgan and Asher are our #1-4 starters, we are in serious trouble. If they are our #2-5 starters, then not so bad. If Nola is #2 and the best of Eickhoff, Morgan, and Asher slot in at #4-5 and we add a solid #1 and #3, then that can be a very strong starting staff.

  11. I have to weigh in on some of the comments about several teams, notably Braves, Rockies, and Cincy going into crash mode. Given the newly found enthusiasm and vigor of this young team they are beating the mediocre teams (San Diego) but losing to the better (Mets) teams. One can see a visible difference in the Phils demeanor and I suspect they are in the process of turning the corner -slowly- but at a point where the # 1 thru #3 pick is going to be remote at best.

    1. Too true, we are not an above .500 team at this point, but… if we win close to half of our remaining teams, we are going to be picking #5-7.

  12. Nice to see Rupp among the guys who are taking advantage of their playing time. I wouldn’t mind seeing him be the full time catcher next year and calling 100-120 games. He has earned the chance to show us what he can do as the #1 guy behind the plate. He looks like he could possibly hit around 15 home runs next year if he plays enough and his defense has been pretty good. His 34% caught stealing percentage is better than some other notable catchers: S. Perez, Vogt, Lucroy, Swihart, D’Arnaud, and Grandal.

    Rupp is looking more like a decent regular opposed to just a backup. If he can continue to improve he could be a nice trade asset if Knapp/Alfaro develop. He isn’t arb. eligible until 2018 and is under control until 2021. A cheap catcher with some pop could be very appealing to a lot of teams.

    1. We’re already talking about Rupp as a trade asset? I remember people on this board wanting him cut because he couldn’t hit in the beginning.

      Listen, Rupp is now getting it done at the major league level. Who knows if he can keep it up. But if he can, he’ll likely be in the top 10 of catchers. He’s probably now close to a top 15 catcher. If Knapp or Alfaro develops (and it’s still an if), you could stick one of them at 1B. Rupp is still only 26.

  13. After this horrible year, not getting a Top 3 pick is not good. That puts them in a top 3 position for International money and the Rule V pick as well, and I don’t see one of those top Pitchers lasting to 6 or 7. There is no excitement around next year’s trade deadline as there is no one to trade, so the Amateur Draft will be it for us to look forward to.

    1. I have a feeling they are going to blow through bonus pool money next year, so that shouldn’t matter.

  14. If the team is confident some of the catching talent they’ve acquired (Knapp, Alfaro) will legitimate 1st division starters, I’d like to see the Phillies attempt to package Rupp for a competitive balance pick from a team that needs catching.

    1. I don’t see any evidence that Chooch is any better behind the plate than Rupp or is more instrumental to their development than Rupp is. If they can’t trade him, I’m fine with him starting the season with the team, but if Alfaro or Knapp are ready to come up, Chooch shouldn’t be blocking them.

  15. I’m assuming Kratz will be called up as the 3rd catcher next week, but with Lino struggling and Moore’s bat being hot, any chance they would consider bringing up Moore to give him a look? I had wondered in the off-season if the phils were to eat most of Ruiz’s contract would they be able to move him to a team that needs a backup defensive catcher? If they think they can move him in the off-season then who do you see as Rupp’s backup next year? Lino, Moore, maybe they keep Kratz around in case whoever they use struggles?

    1. Your guess is as good as mine on who they bring up this year. And as far as next year unless one of these guys does something major to make you think they are something more than a back-up catcher, I’m not sure why they can’t back-up in the minors until after Ruiz’s contract is up next year. I mean nobody seems to put any weight into someone actually playing their career out with the Phils from the championship prospects, but since none of these guys appears to be anything more than a back-up catcher longterm, and since you are not going to get anything for Chooch……why not let him play out the string?

      Just think folks just 2 years and a few months before we have a 10 year anniversary party for the 2008 championship team. Wow time flys when your having……..

      1. And in case someone jumps on this…..I think there is more value to chooch than just keeping him as an icon. If guys like Hamels, Halladay, Lee, Moyer, and Oswalt wanted him behind the plate, imagine what value it is having him with all these young pitchers.

          1. Ya, that’s a big if, along with giving another team more money.

            This brings up another thought. Hey if you are going start paying other teams big money to unload someone, why not just buy prospects?

          2. Chooch could be a real valued chip next July…..2-months, and $4M left on his contract, which the Phillies will eat easily, andhe can provide a playoff contender something of value behind the plate…..if he hasn’t regressed until then.

            1. At best, he’ll get you like a second or third level prospect – a lot less than what they got for Revere. I think our sentimentality for good ‘ol Choochie is clouding our judgment on just how little he is worth at this point in his career. He’s just another guy right now – we’d probably have to eat almost all of his salary to get anything of note.

  16. I was always one of Rupp’s biggest backers when he was in the minors. I was one of the few if not only one who liked him more than Joseph or Valle, but you would think that after the way people overreacted to Galvis and Hernandez earlier this year they wouldn’t do so again for someone having a hot month.

    1. Arrieta is a great example of someone figuring it out late, but what’s the lesson there? Just about all of the prospects we talk about on this site are 25 or under. Arrieta pitched 220 big league innings in his age 24 and 25 seasons. He struck out 5.9 per 9 and walked 4.4 per 9IIP. AND he gave up 30 homers. That’s about what I’d expect from Biddle at this point.

      1. Good question. I think the point is that he is the rare example, but that it can happen. However, the big difference between Arrieta and Biddle is the K rate in the minors and the scouting reports on the stuff. Arrieta had great scouting reports on the stuff and great K rates. Biddle not so much.

  17. Arrieta and Rizzo were 2 really good trades by the Cubs. That is on the agenda for the next GM. Trade Dom Brown for someone else’s former top prospect who is struggling, and then have that guy turn into an Arrieta or a Rizzo.

    1. I remember the Phillies trading Greg Golson for John Mayberry, Jr. and the Phillies came out ahead in that deal in terms of WAR.

  18. The catching situation is getting very interesting in the organization. In looking at 2016, I think we all see Ruiz and Rupp in the big leagues, with Rupp’s playing time for next year increasing by the day. Probably too soon for Alfaro or Knapp to be in AAA, so likely will see the combination of Lino and Logan Moore at AAA next year, with Alfaro and Knapp splitting time in Reading? If you ignore the needs of developing younger pitchers, I would suggest Knapp goes to AAA and Alfaro at AA, with Logan Moore backing him up at AA and Lino backing up Knapp at AAA, while also mixing in some 1B /DH time, but with the likely pitching staff in AAA next year, I’m not sure if the Phils would want Knapp starting there considering some of his areas of development. At the same time, I can’t see Alfaro and Knapp splitting time at AA which will slow down both of their development in my opinion. I wonder if the Phils will give any thought to moving Knapp to 1B or LF which I think would be a mistake at this point in time. It would accelerate his path to the big leagues but would lessen his value tremendously.

    Fascinating how the Phils now have 6 catchers at A blall or higher with legitimate shots to be major league contributors as either starters or back-ups – Rupp, Alfaro, Knapp, Lino, Moore, and Grullion.

    1. Knapp has nothing to prove at AA. He needs to start 2016 at Lehigh.

      I think Joe Jordan has said that Alfaro needs playing time. So he should start 2016 at Reading.

      You keep Knapp and Alfaro at catcher until they can’t do it (i.e. Tommy Joseph). If they can continue to hit, the Phillies will find a place for them, either at 1B or another team.

      1. Agreed, but like I said above and which buddy alluded to, there is something to say for there ability to help develop pitchers. How they work with pitchers has to be a big part of who goes where and when.

        1. I think that is secondary to their bat. If they can hit and they are passable behind the plate, they’ll get promoted. I mean, Buster Posey actually bypassed AA with his .969 career minor league OPS. Matt Wieters minor league numbers are even more impressive, and he jumped straight into high-A. He got drafted in 2007, and was in the bigs in 2009.

          1. There now is a nice log jam behind the plate. Moore has come out of nowhere to suddenly hitting. He has always been a plus defensive player. If Rupp continues to prove he can handle the full-time catching duties, Ruiz will be the odd man out. Knapp and Lino may be together at LV. Alfaro and Numata at Reading? Gruillon will probably repeat at Lakewood. What do they do with the kid at Williamsport? What about Garcia? Not sure how old he is, but what do they do with him? He’s played well at Reading. Austudillo certainly can hit, but they keep working him behind the plate? Lots of nice problems.

  19. Watching the Giants play the Cardinals, I realized just how successful their approach to player development continues to yield winning teams in the Bigs. Though several of their players have had time on the DL their ability to go beyond their starting 8 has kept them in contention and ahead.

    Thus, they have managed to develop and 2nd team of players that allows a substitute good player when needed due to a poor season or injury. Like a junior varsity. So when one or more of their top 8 needs time out or compelled DL, another is ready to fill those shoes short or long time with little loss of effectiveness temporarily. Bench strength cures a lot of problems.

    As if acknowledging this necessity, the Phils made a great move in obtaining Sweeney…who can play multiple inf & OF positions with some power and much bases speed. The catcher position is tending toward this approach with 4 legitimate catcher prospects. Having two on the 25 with two waiting (playing) in the wings with Ruiz going after 2016 fills THAT position well with that 2nd team in mind.

    Thus, Kingery was started at low A Lkwd as the 2nd baseman of the future. But they are not relying on him alone for that position. Tobias moved to 2nd to add another potential guy to fill up that position competitively and create a second string fill-in.

    Also worth mentioning is that they have “overloading” their volume of potential starting pitchers so as to refine/develop several out of the bunch and seek others for relief roles. All of them are under development and could take a season or two to iron things out. But we should notice that almost all of them are big and strong which is a good “starting point” of development. Given some time and work, several of them should emerge to yield a superior staff when our #1 pick (plus maybe their 2nd pick) is used to grab a potential #1 starter lead the way.

    Well worth watching…….Contention in ’17 maybe.

    1. Sweeney is among the biggest surprises to me. He is one of these guys who, if things break right, could come out of nowhere and be a very fine player. He plays critical defensive positions, he’s fast, he has a good eye and really surprising power. That’s about as much as you could dream of getting in a waiver wire deal.

      1. I live in SF Bay Area and listen to sports radio occasionally. A few weeks ago,a member of scouting dept (not Sabean or Evans) was being interviewed and was aksked about organizational scouting philosophy. Basically the answer was less emphasis on metrics than many teams, emphasize high floor rather than high ceiling, and emphasize character (work ethic). Develpment is more about identifying strengths and working to optimize, rather than (but not ignoring) working on weaknesses.

        I thought it was interesting as the Giants have a few guys (Posey, Bumgarner) who had high ceilings at draft time, but a bunch of others (Belt, Crawford, Duffy) who likely exceeded expectations.

  20. Here’s to hoping for a surprise, last minute out of nowhere Ryan Howard trade today. Phils pay 95% of the money left on the deal and get a lottery pick A ball OF in return…….

        1. Well technically he was correct, since Domo and the team did head north to Citi Field tonight vs the Mets..

          1. I know that money will be less of an issue next year, but I still can’t see them giving D Brown 4 mil. A waste of money and playing time for someone else.

            1. Who is Brown blocking? Altherr? Frenchy? Ruf? He’s already losing time to them now. If Altherr finishes the year strong, he’ll take 1 of the corner OF spots. In spring training, Asche and Brown can battle it out for the other OF spot.

      1. I was one of the people asked to participate in the poll. I have an article ready to publish mid-week about the poll. I’ll give you a chance to ridicule the top 20 that I submitted. For example, four of my top twenty didn’t place among the thirty that Mike Drago mentions in his article.

      2. Eflin and Tocci would not be top 10 for me I’d have to replace them with Knapp and Hoskins.

        At this point I’m graduating Atherr and and Sweeney…no qualms with the rest of the list Romus.

        1. DMAR:
          Mike takes many people’s suggestions and I guess, just merges, then recalculates them on a equally weighted system.
          This year’s poll will be one of the most difficult from 5 down through 30…which is a good thing.

      3. The list isn’t as bad as it has been in past years. I guess that’s because there actually good players at Reading, so there are less non-prospects being forced on the list due to perceived proximity.

  21. Brown’s not blocking anyone, agreed. I guess it’s just more about being done with him. Right now, I’d rather watch anyone but him. He’s had plenty of chances.

  22. Amaro said about mid July that Blown was on a short leash. Amaro said last wk that there still e val on Asche but they knew what they had in Brown. He didn’t put it in a good way. There 4 player’s being called up I hope it is Dugan and Joesph they has success in AAA before not now . Thing is with them is there finally healthy I know Joesph will be in instructional camp.they said he might 3rd base. Dugan it’s either now or at spring training. I figure 1 cather 3 bullpen.

    1. “There 4 player’s being called up I hope it is Dugan and Joesph they has success in AAA before not now ”

      Dugan and Joseph had success in AAA before? When was that? Dugan has been in the minors for 7 years, just reached AAA and is not hitting.
      You want the Phillies to call up Dugan to replace Brown, while Dugan is performing worse in AAA than Brown has in the majors. That makes absolutely no sense.

      1. Dugan was doing well in AA he only has like 100 at bats in AAA. He was hurt in spring training or would have had a shot at the RF. Brown gone with the concussion may never play here again .

  23. i posted on the last general discussion thread, but i think i was the last one to post on that one and didn’t get any replies. but i would be interested to get some opinions on this….

    just trying to add to amaro debate, not take a side…but aside from his many player dealings and contracts, i think some of the most important moves he made came in the front office area. replacing chuck lamar and marti wolever with joe jordan and almaraz definitely seem to have improved our prospects for the future.

    i am not as well versed as others on here in the drafting/development of players, and how minor league instruction is handled. i’ve only starting paying attention to the minor leagues at all once i discovered this site about 5 years ago. but it seems to me that in the past couple years, we have more prospects showing year to year improvement and less prospects regressing year to year. is that joe jordan’s doing? is he improving the development and coaching? or is it just happenstance and luck? i don’t know. and i could be wrong in my observation in the first place, don’t really have numbers to back it up, maybe our prospects are succeeding and failing level by level at exactly the same rate as before.

    then look at the past few drafts and international signing periods, and what almaraz has done in his short time here, and i feel like we’re injecting more players into the system with a chance of actually hitting their ceiling than in the past.

    now, i guess the question with jordan and almaraz is the same as some of the personnel decisions. was this amaro recognizing a shortcoming in the organization and moving to correct it, or was he guided by upper management? does he deserve credit for fixing these areas or did he have a hand in letting these areas go to crap for too long?

    1. I think it’s more of a change in drafting philosophy. Gone are the days of drafting toolsy athletes, hoping that the bat will catch up. And it looks like the Phillies are going more for high floor players too. As for international signings, the Phillies have always been involved, but not to the extent of some of the other big market teams. They did make a splash signing Ortiz, but we’ll see how they will do in future years. It also helps that the Phillies have some top 10 picks to work with.

    2. I’m not an Amaro hater. I think he has done some good things, but he took too many huge gambles and lost.

      1. There was no need for the 2nd Cliff Lee deal.
      2. There was no need to sign Howard two years before his contract ended.
      3. Re-signing 30+ year old Cliff Lee to a contract that size was a mistake.
      4. Signing a reliever (Papelbon) to a deal that big was ridiculous.
      5. Re-signing Utley and Chooch were small mistakes.

      He made too many unnecessary big splash trades and too many unnessary big money signings, then waited too late to get the farm system right. He gambled and lost, so he should be fired.

      1. VOR…I agree with all of his poor contract negotiations.
        His trades, beginning in ’09 thru ’11, when Charlie was the manager, had Charlie written all over them. He did not make a move without first consulting with Charlie on the players being sought or the players to be offered, which were usually minor leaguers. Once Vic was trade in July 2012, the team at that point, was already sliding into their freefall.

      2. Big market teams can make “mistakes” with big money contracts. Papelbon was a top 5 closer during his time as a closer. His contract did not preclude the Phillies from making other deals, as it would with other teams. In the end, they used their big wallet to eat some of his contract to buy a prospect. Same goes for the Lee signing. A big market team can assume the back end risk of a big contract to go all-in on the front end, ala the Yankees with Sabatthia. On Howard, he just broke the 1st year arbitration record and was poised to smash the arbitration record in year two. We were coming off the steroid era when offensive players remained effective info their late 30s. His contract was market rate at the time for a majorLH power bat. The Achilles injury killed his value. I would have preferred investing that money in a more complete player at that time. But, I understood their desire to keep their home grown talent that performed at a HOF level the preceding few years, the black marks on Amaro’s record, in my book, are the 2nd Lee trade and both Pence trades. I give Amaroa but Ida pass on the Lee trade because I believe his hand was forced by management to make the trade and Gillick’sfingerprints were all over the prospects they received. The two Pence trades should have caused him to be fired at the time. Throwing in Santana as the PTBNL was Incompetent. I pray that the rumor of a mistake is true. That trade was a catalyst for the Astros. And, gambling on Joseph as the centerpiece of the SF deal was also a huge fail. There is too much risk to invest so much in a C that has a bat or glove that doesn’t profile at any other position. Heads rolled in the front office after some big swings and misses on trades and draft picks. Maybe he learned something, because I am very happy with the moves made over the past year. We’ll see.

        1. I agree that the Lee trade to Seattle has traces of upper management interference all over it. And that mistake caused them to make another mistake with Oswalt. But Amaro was the GM, so somebody has to take the blame.
          I don’t look at the 1st Pence trade with as much disdain as many on this board. At the time of the trade, some already had Singleton in the HOF, so it was hurtful to them. And Santana was so far away, to me it seemed fair value for a young cost controlled 1st division regular. Teams trade great prospects for good major league regulars every year, but some reason our community on this site gets outrage anytime a top 20 prospect gets moved.

          1. The Oswalt trade was one of the better trades by Amaro. Not sure why that would be seen as a mistake. Singleton and Cossrt were the cornerstones of the Pence trade. 2 A prospects and two B prospects for a solid MLB regular with multiple years of control. I was all in. But the PTBNL, usually an after thought in deals, was our number 1 RH OF prospect. Made absolutely no sense to include him in that deal.

        2. I keep hearing this ‘big market teams can make mistakes with lousy contracts’ mantra and yet it is beyond clear to me that lousy,big contracts played an outsized role in the PHillies recent demise and delayed turnaround.

          1. The demise was due to lack of talent to replace the veterans, i.e. The draft and trades of young talent for veterans. The Papelbon contract, for example, did not stop the Phillies from signing players. The failure of Dom Brown and other prospects to blossom is what killed this team. Look at how the team played in the 2nd half this year with an infusion of young talent coupled with the same aging veterans.

      3. I’m no RAJ backer but #1 & 2 were generally seen as having been forced by ownership. #3 was seen as a coup at the time, especially to only 5 guaranteed years. The Yankees offered him 7.

  24. As we move into September and hope for a top 3 pick the season will still play on for a champion. Who are you guys rooting for or against?

    Lately I find myself hating on the Nationals more than the Mets; The Jays are like-able to me right now and I would love to see the Giants trip up the Dodgers again.

    1. For baseball, I have always hated the Mets. I loathe the Mets. Losing to them this season has been painful. I want a non-Mets NL WS champion.

    2. Anyone but the Mets. I’d hate to see the Dodgers win before Tommy Lasorda dies, but I’ll root for the Dodgers over the Mets.

    3. It’s very weird, almost seamlessly, I have grown to detest the Nationals and I hate them as much as I hate the Cardinals. I grew up rooting for the Mets, so while I don’t like them anymore, I don’t really hate them. But I don’t think I enjoy watching any team lose as much as I enjoy watching the Nationals crash and burn. I’m not too fond of the Dodgers or Giants either nor do I like the Yankees. As for non-Phillies teams I like (when they are not playing the Phillies), I like the Pirates, the Mets (just a little for old times’ sake), the Red Sox (because they are not the Yankees), the Angels and the Blue Jays. That’s about it.

      1. Very Interesting we share the same disdain for the Nats. I usually like the cinderella team but for some reason KC doesn’t do it for me nor do the Astros. Should be an interesting race to the finish at the top and bottom.

        1. Would be interesting to see for me….Hamels and the Rangers vs Rollins/Utley and the Dodgers in the WS.
          No thank you, with the Paps/Nats, Mets, Giants, Cubs or Cardinals.

  25. With some of the bats moved yesterday. very surprising francour didn’t get moved. Atlanta got a nice a ball prospect in a trade. Would love to have gotten something like that for frenchy. I think the Phillies will now try to keep him. They must like his clubhouse present . it seems.

    1. He was claimed by an unknown team when he was placed on revocable waivers. The Phillies apparently unwilling to trade for the org depth piece the other team was offering.

    2. rocco….Frenchy may have another year here, thru July maybe. But that OF could get crowded some time after next mid-season ..especially if and when, Williams and Quinn decide they will make a push to be brought up….then there could be Dugan also in the mix with a cup of coffee, the Phillies may feel he paid his dues asa good soldier, and give him his last hurrah

    1. At this point, the Phillies have enough depth at pitcher so they don’t have a need to rush our top 2016 pick after 1 year (which would be unprecedented for most teams let alone the Phillies). Pinto perhaps for 2018, he should be at AA for 2016 but who knows.

      Too early 2017 rotation:


      1. Morgan is still rebuilding arm strength and command after the shoulder surgery. If he stays healthy, he has a chance to be more than just a #5. Eflin has chance to be more than Eickhoff.

        1. That’s true – we don’t know how far Morgan will make it back – he could be a borderline big leaguer or a solid mid-rotation guy. Eflin has a chance to be a 2 or a 3 but he needs to develop a better swing and miss pitch; but the arm and the command are there.

      2. 1. They’ll need an experienced ace
        2. getting a college kid to be a part of the rotation is not rushing them.

    2. This is a truly bizarre list. Why Gray in a trade? Assuming you mean Sonny Gray, he’d be an interesting guy to have, but not sure I’d single him out as a trade target and not at all sure I want to give up actual talent in trade for a SP as opposed to signing a domestic or international FA. Pinto has only half a season of A+ baseball and is not likely to be ready to join an MLB rotation to start 2017. We may well pick as low as 7th in the draft, let’s not count our primo draft college pitcher until we are in position to make the pick. Thompson and Nola should be a part of the rotation. So should Eflin and, if he stays healthy, Morgan. Eickhoff looks like a reasonable part of the 2017 rotation.

      1. No need to cast aspersions if you don’t understand. An experieed ace is smart play and their are no probable ace type free agents hitting the market after 2016 and 2017.

    3. why trade for jason gray or whoever that is? can the phils just sign a stud FA SP (whether in US, Japan, Cuba, etc) instead? By end of 2016, Phils payroll is way way down.

    4. Make that Sonny of course. They’ll need an experieed horse to lead the kids and they’ll have that in Sonny Gray. Plus their are no aces to most likely pickup after the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Thus a trade makes the most sense.

  26. I have always hated the Mets, but this version of the Nats has surpassed them on my “root against” list. So, I will then root against the Mets when the playoffs start. I like the Blue Jays, because I have to root for someone in the Playoffs, so they are it this year. On the other issue about RAJ, I think there is plenty of blame to go around. Had the Phils won the WS in 2011, the Pence trade would not be as bad. The trade to the Giants was terrible. The Lee to Seattle trade was definitely ownership driven, and by that I mean Giles/Monty. And, we don’t talk enough about the need to get money back in the Doc, Pence, Oswalt deals, and what prospect/s we may have saved without taking money. That was ownership driven also.

  27. rocco……since you like to bring up unsigned drafted players….what Phillies pitcher this year was drafted by the Mets in one year, as one of their top ten picks originally, and did not sign with them…then the Phillies drafted later, and signed?

    1. Now that’s some ironic and funny.
      But other then Harvey, Degrom and maybe Matz, Mets did not draft great pitchers lately. Thor and Wheeler were trades

    2. Buchanan has the writings of a Tyler Cloyd since the beginning. Phils should have traded him before the start of the season. Since Buchanan is young and cheap, Phils could have gotten something for him.

  28. On the teams to root against list, ya the Mets and Dodgers were always on that list mainly for the reasons given above, but it was therapy to watch them crumble in view of the Phils success. I actually started feeling sorry for Jonathan Broxton, although I never got tired of watching Tommy L run into the exit tunnels.

    I must confess there was a time where I had to repent to my nephew who made a paper mache Mr. Met in my house in the summer of 2011 and I threatened to destroy it.

    However, yes the Nats have become my most disliked team as well.

  29. On another comical note, who thinks MAG’s is going to make a run to be the 6th man in the September rotation. He starts for the pigs tonight. A good start or 2 for Bacon????

    1. And as long as we are on the Bacon thing, what is it with Lehigh and ridiculous theme nights and making the players where embarrassing uniforms. I turned on the game one night and they looked like they were wearing wood nymph outfits?Turns out it was some type of Robin Hood theme night, but seriously…..I mean the only other team that is more embarrassing has to be the Rubber Ducks.

      Sorry just got done work and the whole “what team do you root against thing” got me going.

      1. I was there one night this summer, when it was Christmas/Santa Clause in July. I think one reason they do it is to have unique game uniforms to auction for charities.

  30. Very nice contingent to the AFL. I have very high hopes for all of them to play in the Majors one day. Obviously different ceilings involved, but I like them all.

    1. The three positional players should be key Phillies in a few years.
      I am not sure about the pitchers, though Windle could be a very good lefty reliever in the Jake Diekman mold.

  31. Not sure how the Phillies were able to get Edubray Ramos into the selection group….he was born in Venezuela and they have a winter baseball league…..he may be the first Venezuelan to play in the AFL…cannot recall any other off the top of my head.
    Phillies must have recd an exemption or the rule changed.
    I do not think they overlooked the rule….that would be embarrassing.

    1. The AFL rules did change:
      “Internatiional players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and/or Australia are eligible only if the player is not on the reserve list of a Winter League club from the player’s home country. Otherwise, there is no maximum limit on the number of international players an MLB organization can assign to its AFL team’.
      …so Ramos was not on any Ven’s team reserve list.

    1. Yeah, he failed his physical, but they signed him anyway, just reducing the bonus to a still large $12 mill. That’s 3 years’ international budget for us. Initially it was the elbow, then the shoulder. The guy hadn’t pitched seriously in two years. I doubt he’s ever been truly healthy since we signed him.

  32. I am beginning to think that the biggest coup of the last year may end up being Darnell Sweeney – he could turn into a star. Just watch him. Very, very, very talented.

  33. On Sweeney: he seems to me to be the ideal utility guy who can play multiple positions but his best is 2nd base. That part of the “keystone” of SS & 2b along with catcher and CF represents the up the middle cover defensively. It is vital that both of the keystone field very well! No problem there with Crawford, but Sweeney may not have the “great” glove that is required. If he cannot man 2b as a starter, he can be very useful as a fill-in at that and other positions including the OF.

    By prior postings, I was very happy tp have him as a “super-sub”…but if he measure up as a superior 2b fielder, then great. Let’s see how it works out.

    IMO, anyway you look at it, it was a terrific move to get him plus that pitcher who may develop. Good work by the FO.

  34. This board seems to have ADD this year. First Galvis starts hot and is our second basemen of the future. Then he slumps and Hernandez gets hot, and Hernandez is the second baseman of the future. Now Sweeney is the shiny new thing.

    1. Hopefully Sweeney can keep his adrenaline up for awhile and stay hot, and also a slight improvement on his 21/10% K/BB rate from his minor league career, would make him a very valuable asset on the roster.

  35. What to make of Rupp’s recent surge? This is a guy who almost no one, myself included, saw as a legitimate candidate for a role as a major league regular, but he may be proving )most of us) wrong.

    I am, at least initially, going to avoid making projections, other than “straight line” projections of 2015 performance to a full season. i.e., looking at current performance over a full season. By doing so, I am mindful of SS issues and the fact that the best projections incorporate other evidence – I’m just looking at “what we have now.”

    Let’s start with WAR and then break it down into components. Rupp has accumulated 1.3 fWAR over the course of the season. (rWAR is a tad higher at 1.4.) Projected over a full season that comes to about 3 WAR, a well above average regular. Of course few catchers play 150 plus games, so let’s say somewhere in the 2.5 to 3.0 WAR range. A top ten in baseball catcher, albeit at the bottom end of the top 10. Let’s break it down:

    As a hitter, Rupp has been just short of average for a major league hitter. That’s actually quite good for a catcher. What has he done differently?

    He’s basically performed just a little bit better across the board – K rate, BB rate, BABIP (but not unsustainably so) – than prior performance would suggest. And significantly better in terms of power.

    As a base runner, he’s been just a tad below league average, which is quite good for a catcher.

    Defensively … harder to say. Defensive metrics for catchers are problematic. But FWIW, Fangraphs has him a little above average defensively. His SB/CS data is solid. Not incorporated in Fangraphs rating is his “framing” data, but that’s about average also (FWIW, Ruiz this year has the worst framing data in baseball).

    That’s a pretty good package. Not a star package, but solid. Can he maintain that? As I said, I’m not offering predictions in this thread. Certainly nothing stands out as unsustainable. But, as will many young players, “can he sustain it” and “will he sustain it” are two very different questions.

    But one thing is clear, to me at least. He’s won the job. He should, going forward in 2015 and 2016, get the bulk of the playing time at catcher. If he can sustain his current production, he may be difficult to dislodge, even with Knapp and Alfaro knocking at the door.

    1. Agreed. Catchers often take longer to develop. If he turns out to be who he is right now, then that is a huge plus for us. When Knapp and Alfaro are ready, we would have a great trade piece. The standard deviation on catchers is so high, that he might even be an elite trade piece.

    2. Rupp is a feel good story as would be any Phil who surpassed expectations. He’s also a humility check for those who use either an ‘eye test’ or sabermetrics as a tell all in forecasting success. More than with many sports, immeasurables factor into the discussion of player value.

  36. A quick update on Herrera:

    On the plus side, he does seem to be making adjustments on his approach. His BB rate is up significantly, his K rate down a little (but see below). Certainly he seems to have won the CF job for 2016. Defensively he has been doing better as the season has gone on.

    On the negative side, his second half surge owes at least as much to an unsustainable rise in BABIP as to the above noted improvements, and his K rate has been going in the wrong direction the last couple of weeks.

    I’ll stand by what I said earlier, with an update. What I said earlier is that his performance is unsustainable, but that’s it’s possible that he’ll make the adjustments that he needs to make to be a solid or better major leaguer. The update is that, while he still has work to do, he does seem to be starting to make the adjustments that he needs to. That said, the BA WILL go down – he’s not a .295 hitter. But he doesn’t have to be to be a decent or slightly better major league regular.

    1. How can you after watching him for one season. say he isn’t a 300 hitter. That to me is crazy, The guy imo has improved his hitting from the first month. but numbers or not we don’t know what he is capable. he was rule 5 and not ready to come up. but had to stay and got a chance,

      1. I just hope, with more experience next season, he gets close to both his BB (8%)/K (16%)rate from his minor league days, with a delta at least of 060 between BA and OBP.

      2. Roccom, look at the profile of a .300 hitter. It’s HARD to be a .300 hitter. The short version is that he Ks way too much to ever be a .300 hitter, and even significant improvement in that area won’t make him one. The longer version:

        Right now, not withstanding his current unsustainable BA, Herrera is nowhere NEAR a .300 hitter. Now you say, correctly, that he may improve further. Let’s make some VERY optimistic assumptions about that improvement:

        (1) Assume he get s little bit of a power bump, say 12 per 600 PA.
        (2) Assume he cuts the K% WAY down, to 16%
        (3) Assume he sustains a very high BABIP of .335
        (4) Assume he bums the BB rate up to 6%.

        These are all quite favorable assumptions. All possible, but certainly on the optimistic side.

        That computes to a BA of .292. That’s not my projection – my projection, assuming continued adjustments on his part, is probably closer to .276. .292 is an optimistic upside. If we simply take his 2015 performance (BB rate, K rate, and HR rate) and assume a quite good .330 BABIP, his average would be .260.

        Now, in these discussions, there is ALWAYS a chance that the player MASSIVELY exceeds expectations. That’s a given. But I’d say the chance that he will be a .300 hitter on a sustained basis is well below 5%.

        A final note – look at the players who have at least 2000 PA over the past 6 years. There are only 12 .300 hitters. None of them have a profile even remotely similar to Herrera’s. Maybe the closest comp is Howie Kendrick. He’s kind of the optimistic upside comp for Herrera (as a hitter). And his BA over the past 6 years is .289.

        1. Actually, I’m quite enamored with the Kendrick comp, AS AN OPTIMISTIC UPSIDE. We would be THRILLED with such a result, Coupled with decent defense in CF, that’s a star. But still not a .300 hitter.

          1. I’d add that a glance at Kendrick’s minor league numbers indicates that “optimistic upside comp” may be a significant understatement. That is, he’s a VERY optimistic upside comp, given how much better his minor league stats were compared to Herrera.

            1. Correct……Kendrick’s power numbers and OPS were superior to Herrera’s by a fairly large margin.
              Sticking with the Halos….perhaps Garrett Anderson

  37. A note on BABIP …

    I’m not going to revisit this debate generally. Positions have been staked our, people have made up their minds. But I do want to focus on one aspect which slightly (but only slightly) goes against the basically correct narrative that I and others have been putting forth for some time …

    Actually, I realize that, for context sake, I DO need to briefly revisit the debate. While it is true that there are real, sustainable variations in BABIP ability, we must (especially with prospects) be suspicious of (1) SSS BABIP performance, and (2) Extreme BABIP rates, even is sustained over a full season. Herrera, e.g., is NOT going to BABIP .378 going forward (though he may well be able to sustain a solid, above average BABIP, perhaps in the .330 range).

    That said, for a minor league player, especially one below A ball, a high BABIP DOES correlate with future success. That doesn’t mean that we ignore SS, and doesn’t mean that we assume that high rates will be sustainable going forward. It just means that high BABIP rates in the low minors, while not DETERMINITIVE of future success, are INDICATIVE of future success.

    1. I don’t really see either of them as a long term regulars. Sweeney perhaps more likely than Hernandez. That said, they should both get an opportunity to prove me wrong.

  38. Not arguing with LarryM’s projections, but based on Herrera’s CF play, and assuming, for the sake of argument, that he hits .280, what does that make his WAR? And does Roman Quinn have a projectable ceiling that is higher, or is it the belief that the team’s future CF is someone else?

    1. As for Herrera, there are obviously more variables than defense and BA, but, if we assume other improvements which would IMO be needed for him to sustain a .280 BA, that’s a 3 WAR player, maybe a little better. Again, he does need to continue to improve, particularly his approach.

      Quinn profiles a little differently. Obviously he has more work to do (and more risk) than Herrera at this point, but I think his ceiling is higher. A crude estimate would be a similar upside but with much more base running value, say a 4 WAR player. Again, though, there a lot of risk there.

  39. Herrera June .261 .271 .391 . 662 OPS July .362 .389 .580 .969 OPS August .333 .390 .426 .816 OPS Hernandez June .324 .395 .397 .792 OPS July .278 .340 .340 .680 OPS August .245 .303 .327 .630 OPS Herrera is 22 and adjusting in Mlb yes his strikeouts are high and his balls are low but he’s improving on the fly . Hernandez is 25 came on fast but couldn’t adjust as of yet. Herrera also is learning a new position and never had 1 at bat in AAA. There is some things numbers can’t see. Yes he might go down hill but his hit tool is pretty good.

  40. Nats beat the Braves today 15 to 1 here’s Harper line AB 0 R 4 H 0 RBI 1 HR 0 BB 4 that has to be one of the craziest lines I’ve seen. Rockies drilled S F who’s dropping like a rock. The Bucks bet Pitt KC beating Det 15 to 7 weird baseball night.

  41. Phillies now 24 and 21 after all star break. Coming back to normal the starting is good now .the bp and some hitters are slowing down.

  42. Can Pete MacKanin stop letting Ryan Howard from hitting against LH pitching? It is one thing to respect him but he has proved he is not effective against LH pitchers at all-Jeff Francour should have pinch hit for Howard.

    1. Pete Mac said it was out of respect for Ryan and his career.
      Perhaps next June we will thank Pete for the foresight he used on Sept 4th 😉

  43. Phillies getting stomped by the Red Sox again. But this gets us closer to the #1 pick. I think worst case now for the Phillies is the #5 pick.

  44. Looks like the bubble has burst Miley shuts down the offense. Asher and Nola will have better defense next yr. The phillies are #:1 in defense runs scored meaning there def is last . I like seeing the young pitchers they will get better Eickhoff looks like a the real thing. The race for for # 1 spot is now on.

  45. The Mets big arms De groom may have it the wall his last 2 outings he’s been ruffled up . Harvey another mess he looked tired at the end of the last game against us. Mets mite not have him for the playoffs.

  46. The former players Phillies are doing well Revere is batting over 300 and leading off for a Good Bluejays offense. There up on the yanks 1.5 games . Hamels and Texas are hot and in place for a wild card spot. Rollins and Utley are going very well Utley was in the 4 hole last night . He hit his 3rd Homer for The Dodgers there 7 up on the Giants. Pap is doing ok with the nats. The Phillies have some great prospects from the trades looks like everything is working out well.

    1. That is a good sign.that all traded Phillies are helping their teams……Phillies return on trades should do well also….if you believe in karma.

  47. Tim paps is doing okay? HE IS A MONSTER RIGHT NOW. I predict if nats are out of it next year at trade dealine pap brings in better prospects then we got for him.

    1. rocco…..a 35-year old closer next season!
      Not sure about that……but he is at the end of his contract next season, so you never know.
      Rizzo really destroyed the psyhe of that team….Storen with Paps…starting a youngster like Ross down the stretch and though Fister has had a bad year, he is battle-tested vet for playoff runs, and now relegated to the ‘pen…..and on a smaller scale, Desmond, who was starting to get hot, with Trea Turner showing up.

      1. Nats are 5 back and Harper hot I think they won 5 straight. Paps has what he wanted a chance to make the playoffs. The phillies just had there butts handed to them by Bradley and company.

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